State Law > Tennessee > Tennessee Family and Medical Leave Law

Tennessee Family and Medical Leave Law

 

Tennessee does not have a general law regarding family and medical leave, but the following sections of the Tennessee Code Annotated concern this subject.
Public Employees

  • 8-50-802. Sick leave.
  • 8-50-806. Leave for adoptive parents.
State Government
  • 4-21-408. Maternity leave.
Educational Institutions
  • 49-5-710. Sick leave - Accumulation and use.


8-50-802. Sick leave.

(a)

(1) Sick leave may be granted to each officer and employee who is scheduled to work one thousand six hundred (1,600) hours or more in a fiscal year, whether compensated on an hourly, daily, monthly, or piecework basis, at the rate of one (1) day for each month of service or major fraction thereof, at the discretion of the head of the department or agency and with the approval of the commissioner of personnel.

(2) Sick leave shall be cumulative for all earned days not used. Saturdays, Sundays, and official holidays falling within a leave period shall not be charged as leave, unless such days are considered as work days for the employee in the employee's particular assignment. Part-time employees, employees holding temporary positions for less than six (6) months, seasonal employees, and emergency employees in the career service are expressly excluded from the provisions of this subsection.

(3) Sick leave may only be used for absence from duty because of illness or disability due to accident of employee, the employee's exposure to contagious diseases, or because of illness or death in the immediate family of the employee for such period as the attendance of the employee shall be necessary, except as hereinafter provided.

(4) Sick leave may be used for maternity or paternity leave for a period not to exceed the employee's accumulated sick leave balance or thirty (30) working days, whichever is less. In order to be eligible for the use of sick leave as maternity or paternity leave, the employee must submit a written request therefor, together with a statement from the attending physician indicating the expected date of confinement, not later than the end of the fifth month of pregnancy. In the event both parents are state employees, the aggregate of sick leave used for maternity and paternity leave is limited to thirty (30) days.

(5) An employee may be required to present evidence in the form of personal affidavits, physicians' certificates, or other testimonials, at the request of the appointing authority or the commissioner of personnel, to support the reason for any absence during the time for which sick leave was taken. The appointing authority may not deny sick leave to any employee who furnishes a statement of a licensed physician or accredited Christian Science practitioner in support of the reason for the absence. However, the appointing authority may require additional documentation if, upon further investigation, there is substantial evidence of sick leave abuse by the employee.

(b) Each officer and employee who is employed full time and who has accumulated the maximum number of allowable annual leave days shall have any additional leave days accrued in excess of the maximum amount transferred annually to the officer's or employee's credit as sick leave.

(c)

(1) The commissioner of personnel shall develop policies and procedures which shall allow for the transfer of sick leave between employees who are covered by this part.

(2) Employees shall be members of the sick leave bank established in part 9 of this chapter to be eligible for a transfer of sick leave from another employee.

(3) The commissioner shall establish one (1) open enrollment period for the sick leave bank following April 12, 1994 which shall be in addition to the enrollment period established in Sec. 8-50-905(c). Such open enrollment period shall not exceed sixty (60) days.

8-50-806. Leave for adoptive parents.

Special leave shall be granted for a period of thirty (30) working days to adoptive parents. Employees may use sick leave for all or a portion of that thirty (30) days, not to exceed the employee's leave balance if the child is one (1) year old or less; in the event both parents are state employees, the aggregate of sick leave used for such purpose is limited to thirty (30) days. In order to be eligible for adoptive leave, the employee shall submit to the appointing authority a statement from a state-licensed child-placing agency verifying the adoption. Additional special leave may be granted at the discretion of the appointing authority not to exceed one (1) year. In the event the adoption process is not completed, the approval of leave pursuant to this section is rescinded. The provisions of this section shall not apply in case of stepchild or adult adoption.

4-21-408. Maternity leave.

(a) A female employee who has been employed by the same employer for at least twelve (12) consecutive months as a full-time employee, as determined by the employer at the job site or location, may be absent from such employment for a period not to exceed four (4) months for pregnancy, childbirth and nursing the infant, where applicable (such period to be hereinafter referred to as "maternity leave").

(b)

(1) A female employee who gives at least three (3) months' advance notice to her employer of her anticipated date of departure for maternity leave, her length of maternity leave, and her intention to return to full-time employment after maternity leave, shall be restored to her previous or a similar position with the same status, pay, length of service credit and seniority, wherever applicable, as of the date of her leave.

(2) A female employee who is prevented from giving three (3) months' advance notice because of a medical emergency which necessitates that maternity leave begin earlier than originally anticipated shall not forfeit her rights and benefits under this section solely because of her failure to give three (3) months' advance notice.

(c)

(1) Maternity leave may be with or without pay at the discretion of the employer. Maternity leave shall not affect the employee's right to receive vacation time, sick leave, bonuses, advancement, seniority, length of service credit, benefits, plans or programs for which she was eligible at the date of her leave, and any other benefits or rights of her employment incident to her employment position; provided, that the employer need not provide for the cost of any benefits, plans or programs during the period of maternity leave unless such employer so provides for all employees on leaves of absence.

(2) If an employee's job position is so unique that the employer cannot, after reasonable efforts, fill that position temporarily, then the employer shall not be liable under this section for failure to reinstate the employee at the end of her maternity leave period.

(3) The purpose of this section is to provide leave time to female employees for pregnancy, childbirth and nursing the infant, where applicable; therefore, if an employer finds that the female employee has utilized the period of maternity leave to actively pursue other employment opportunities or if the employer finds that the employee has worked part time or full time for another employer during the period of maternity leave, then the employer shall not be liable under this section for failure to reinstate the employee at the end of her maternity leave.

(4) Whenever the employer shall determine that the employee will not be reinstated at the end of her maternity leave because her position cannot be filled temporarily or because she has used maternity leave to pursue employment opportunities or to work for another employer, the employer shall so notify the employee.

(d) Nothing contained within the provisions of this section shall be construed to:

(1) Affect any bargaining agreement or company policy which provides for greater or additional benefits than those required under this section;

(2) Require any employer to provide maternity leave to male employees;

(3) Apply to any employer who employs fewer than one hundred (100) full-time employees on a permanent basis at the job site or location; or

(4) Diminish or restrict the rights of teachers to leave for maternity pursuant to title 49, chapter 5, part 7, or to return or reinstatement after leave.

(e) The provisions of this section shall be included in the next employee handbook published by the employer after passage of this section.

49-5-710. Sick leave - Accumulation and use.

(a)

(1) The time allowed for sick leave within the meaning of this section for any teacher shall be one (1) day for each month employed plus any personal and professional leave transferred to sick leave. Sick leave shall be cumulative for all earned or transferred days not used.

(2) Upon written request of the teacher accompanied by a statement from the teacher's physician verifying pregnancy, any teacher who goes on maternity leave shall be allowed to use all or a portion of the teacher's accumulated sick leave for maternity leave purposes during the period of the teacher's physical disability only, as determined by a physician. Upon verification by a written statement from an adoption agency or other entity handling an adoption, a teacher may also be allowed to use up to thirty (30) days of accumulated sick leave for adoption of a child. If both adoptive parents are teachers, only one (1) parent is entitled to leave under this subsection.

(3) When first employed in a system, a teacher shall be allowed an initial allotment of up to five (5) days of sick leave, but not exceeding the number the teacher could earn during the school year in which the teacher is first employed. If a teacher uses a part or all of this initial allotment, these days shall be charged to sick leave later accumulated by the same teacher.

(4) At the termination of the employment of any teacher, all unused sick leave accumulated by the teacher shall be terminated.

(5) However, a local board of education shall grant to any teacher, upon such teacher's employment or reemployment, the accumulated sick leave which the teacher lost by previous termination of employment in a public school system of this state; except that a teacher terminated for cause, as defined in Sec. 49-5-501 shall not be granted, upon further employment, the sick leave days lost; and except that a teacher who breaks a contract with the board of education without a justifiable reason and without giving at least thirty (30) days' advance notice shall be granted previously accumulated, unused leave only if the board whose employ the teacher left permits the teacher to resign in good standing under the terms of Sec. 49-5-508. This grant of previously accumulated, unused sick leave days shall be made only upon application of the teacher, and only upon written verification notarized by the superintendent of the system in which the accumulated sick leave was held. The grant of previously accumulated, unused sick leave days provided for under this subdivision shall be available to any teacher and state employee.

(6) Every local board of education shall keep a record of the accumulated sick leave for each eligible teacher in its employ and shall provide a verified copy to the teacher or other board of education for purposes of implementing this section.

(7) The local board of education may require that a physician's certificate be furnished by the teacher in all cases deemed proper by the local board.

(8) In case of doubt, the local board of education shall have final authority as to whom is entitled to leave under this section and the time for which the leave may be allowed.

(9) A teacher in need of sick leave shall be allowed to use unearned sick leave up to the amount of days which such teacher may accumulate during the remainder of the school year in which the teacher is employed. Such advance use of sick leave shall be charged to sick leave accumulated in the same school year. Upon termination of the employment of such teacher before such days are earned or at the end of the school year, there shall be deducted from the final salary of such teacher an amount based on the teacher's daily rate of pay sufficient to cover the excess sick leave days used by the teacher, and if such final salary is insufficient for this purpose, the teacher shall be liable for reimbursement of any amount in excess of the teacher's final salary.

(b) Any person employed by any agency, office, department or institution of the state or any state college or university, and who participates in the sick leave program provided in title 8, chapter 50, part 8, who leaves such employment and within two (2) years becomes a teacher employed by any local board of education, shall be allowed to convert all accumulated state sick leave into sick leave under this section. Any person may waive such conversion by notice to the authority responsible for the person's appointment. The previous employer shall certify to the new employer that the sick leave for which credit is being sought actually is accrued and due and is substantiated by records of the agency compiled during the course of such employment and not from records compiled solely for purposes of establishing leave credit. The conversion of sick leave under this subsection shall be available to any employee who has transferred employment from any herein named state agency to any local school system.

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